October 9th, 2019
Two guys walk out of a bar.
It doesn’t really matter why they walked out. And this isn’t the start of a joke. No, this is something entirely different.
So, two men tried leaving the restaurant tonight. The reasons themselves don’t matter and don’t even appear clear to me; but they are furious and they have decided to take their business elsewhere.
For other reasons I cannot explain — I stop them. One of the guys is holding the door open outside already, so I walk up to him and I tell him to come back in. I explain to him that despite what has happened thus far, I will be personally taking care of him from here on out.
They sit down. They have a truly excellent meal. They heap a lot of love and praise on the experience they had. But that is also not what this story is about. No, it is about something entirely different.
See, I had no intention of stopping those angry men. For real. My rational brain wanted to, and has, let people like them go. No, something else happened. It was instinctual. And I have only one explanation.
I think I talk so much shit about doing the right thing all the time that it is now my default mode.
Which means anyone can do it, too.
I, for the record, do not do the right thing every time. Not by a long shot. I have fucked up more times most mornings than you will all day. Fucking up is my cup of coffee.
But I have changed my thinking considerably, and I notice the difference it makes all the time. I immediately (or mostly immediately) recognize any kind of problem or defective thinking, even if I can’t do anything about it in the moment. And even if it doesn’t do anything in that instant, it gradually wears grooves in my mind where better behavior can live.
It sounds crazy but it works. Whenever you have a bad thought, you don’t have to change it — but you do have to recognize it. And hopefully your behavior, which you can change, will follow.
Because tonight, two guys walked out of a bar, for a second time. And they were really glad they did.